Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Understanding Weight-Loss Surgery

Weight-loss surgery can help the severely obese drop significant pounds and even head off serious illnesses, like diabetes.

Weight-Loss Surgery
Weight-loss surgery (WLS), also called bariatric surgery, is a procedure that can help people who are severely obese lose weight when traditional weight-loss methods — diet, exercise, and weight-loss medications — have failed.

By helping you lose excess weight, bariatric surgery can also help prevent, manage, or even resolve a number of serious obesity-related health conditions.

Bariatric surgery "is a multidisciplinary approach to the treatment of obesity and [related] diseases," says John Baker, MD, a bariatric surgeon in Little Rock, Ark., and president of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery.

How Bariatric Surgery Works

Bariatric surgery alters your digestive system to induce weight loss. Exactly how your procedure works depends on the specific type of bariatric surgery you have.

According to Dr. Baker, some weight-loss surgeries are restrictive in nature. "They can influence weight loss by restricting caloric intake [and] by limiting the volume that a patient can take in," he says. Other procedures work by limiting nutrient absorption so the body absorbs fewer calories. And some weight-loss surgeries combine both restrictive and malabsorptive techniques.

Bariatric Surgery: Four Types

The types of bariatric surgery that are commonly performed today are:

    Adjustable gastric band. If you have an adjustable gastric band (Lap-Band), a small band will be surgically placed around your upper stomach to create a pouch that limits the amount of food you can eat.
    Roux-en-Y gastric bypass. According to Baker, gastric bypass works by both limiting your food intake and interfering with nutrient absorption. In a gastric bypass procedure, your digestive system will be manipulated so that food is routed from a small pouch in your stomach directly into your small intestine.
    Biliopancreatic diversion with a duodenal switch. For duodenal switch procedures, much of your stomach will be removed, food will be routed away from a large portion of your small intestine, and digestive juices will be routed away from your digestive system.
    Vertical sleeve gastrectomy. Vertical sleeve gastrectomy is a procedure in which much of your stomach is removed, resulting in a tubular sleeve that serves as a smaller stomach. This restricts your food intake, but does not interfere with the absorption of nutrients.

Baker says that there are other investigational bariatric surgeries on the horizon. "But there needs to be more long-term study and evaluations of those operations and procedures [before they become available]," he notes.

Immediate Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

The most obvious benefit of weight-loss surgeries is weight loss, which can be dramatic. Other than bariatric surgery, Baker says that "very few, if any, of the medical treatments are effective at long-term weight loss."

Whereas with traditional weight loss, people might lose 5 percent to 10 percent of their body weight in two years — only to gain it back — the effects of bariatric surgery are generally much more substantial.

Baker says that on average, people lose 50 percent of their excess body weight with adjustable gastric banding, 62 percent to 68 percent of their excess body weight with gastric bypass, and 70 percent to 80 percent of their excess weight with duodenal switch procedures.

More Benefits of Bariatric Surgery

But even more important than helping you lose weight, bariatric surgery can also help prevent or treat other health problems that are related to your weight.

"It is not so much the weight loss [but] the fact that with metabolic and bariatric surgery, you can improve or resolve a number of chronic diseases," Baker says. He lists diabetes, hypertension, obstructive sleep apnea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), cancer, and heart disease among the 30-plus obesity-related diseases that can be potentially helped by bariatric surgery.

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sanjay said...

nice blog
thanks for sharing information.
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